The press release caught my attention, the Opioid crisis is indeed just that. The country seems awash in prescription pills that generate nothing but misery. No-one wants to take ownership of the problem, big Pharma says it is not their problem, they do not sell to the public, they sell to the medical world.

The medical industry claims innocence of wrong doing saying that they are without fault and they always have the patients best interest at heart.

Others suggest that the flow of drugs originate from factories in the Far East. It really doesn’t matter where you put the blame, but the problem most certainly is real.

Look What Dragged The Cat In is an interesting read. I certainly learned things that I was blissfully unaware of, the difference between opioid and opiate being a good example. It turns out ‘ates’ come from plants so are natural in origin Heroin, Morphine, etc. ‘Oids’ are man made, evil brews concocted in the laboratory. It turns out that both have been around for a long time, ‘ates’ go back hundreds, maybe thousands of years, certainly the Inca were familiar with the joys of ‘ates’,  ‘oids’ have their history at the beginning of the 20th century.

So in I jumped in, but Look What Dragged The Cat In takes the reader in a direction I was not expecting. Gateway Drugs is always an interesting subject, weed leads to cocaine, beer leads to hard liquor, prescriptions lead to heroin, is the clarion call for some, but is it true?

My personal view is one of skepticism. Studies have proven and dis-proven the role of gateway drugs. I believe that some people are more susceptible to the lure of stronger drugs than others. My other observation is ‘oids’ lead to ‘ates’, when the addict runs out of doctors willing to write prescriptions often times Heroin becomes the drug of choice, it is cheap and plentiful.

I have digressed, lets get back to Scott Stevens. Scott has a very interesting take on the subject of the gateway drug at play in the battle of ‘oids’ and ‘ates’, it is alcohol. This tangent took me by surprise, it is the first time I have heard it.

The book begins with:

Q: How many opioid deaths are alcohol related?

A: They ALL are

So certain is the author that 60% of the book is about the demon that comes in a bottle. There is a cynical part of me that wants to say that the author really wanted to write a treatise on the evils of booze, but that has been done to death, interlocking it with the now very trendy ‘oids’ and ‘ates’ debate breathes fresh life into the booze story.

I cannot fault the research in this book, it clearly has been well done and citations given where needed. I enjoyed the book, it was an educational adventure, however I do feel there is a little bit of a ‘bait and switch’ in play. This is clear by visiting his web site

At a 125 pages Look What Dragged The Cat In is an easy read and indeed should be read and discussed. As there will be some questions about the ‘gateway’  drug idea  here is a quote;

The lies we’ve accepted about the gateway drug In 2016 I penned an Alcohology white paper on alcohol and health entitled “Six signs the next 10 years for the alcohol biz will be like the last 20 for tobacco.” In synopsis, it points that alcohol use is a cost driver for the health system because more long-term health consequences from drinking are coming to light… while more ‘benefits’ of drinking are being debunked. I’ve championed this theme since my first book in 2010 and in each of the books that followed. If we’re going to fell the trunk of the opioid crisis by whittling the gateway drug, we need to understand alcomyths and alcohistory. An entire mythology has emerged around the healthy qualities of drinking.

I wish I had read the manuscript prior to publishing, as I do think it would have been possible to join the disparate subjects of booze and drugs into a more cohesive work.

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